Mülheim an der Ruhr Business English Blog Chapter II The manager that took care of business and was a nice guy

Hi this is Bartosz your local English interpreter and business English teacher. Welcome to the Mülheim an der Ruhr Business English Blog.

The only business English blog that is not concentrated on vocabulary, grammar and letter writing. Now don´t get me wrong, it´s not that those things are not important for your business. But in our philosophy business English is supposed to make a difference to you, your business, your employees or even your clients. This is my way of teaching and talking about business English so enjoy the read. Today I would like to concentrate on the subject of how to get things done and not be an a****le to your employees.

Trying to come up with an original business English lesson plan I sometimes look for inspiration absolutely anywhere. There´s nothing better than taking something really interesting mix it with boring vocabulary and all of a sudden boom… A perfect combination of inspiration, vocabulary and entertainment is ready. I tend to take pride in my approach especially if I´m performing (yes I am not afraid to use that word) a substitution. I don´t know the people and the people definitely don´t know me, so apart from making a good impression at the very beginning I have to maintain the suspense and conclude the lesson with a grande finale.

Of course it´s hard to keep everybody happy especially if you are talking about the overhead costs, p&l accounts or the breakeven point. On the other hand making the lesson interesting, fun and entertaining might get you more engagement from the students than you could ever imagine. It´s like this 50/50 rule that works between employees and managers. Never heard about it? Well now shall we begin…?

The 50/50 rule… that I´ve just made up. Also known, as what goes around comes around. If you treat your employees in a fair way (doesn´t happen too often nowadays) they will try to be fair with you.

 

So if they ask for a holiday and they get it they will be more prone to do an additional task or take some extra hours. I can immediately hear all of the seasoned managers who shouting frantically that you cannot be nice to people and do whatever they want. You sometimes have to be an asshole just to stop them from even trying to ask for some favours. O.K.. One thing holiday is not a favor. Secondly if you want them to work in an efficient way you cannot push them to their limits and take a break only when you see they´re about to explode. But you always have to make them return the favor. In any way possible but the balance has to be even. The same goes for the favors and errands they do for you. You always have to return the favor otherwise your employees, partners, subcontractors or even love ones will feel used and exploited.

You might say Hey what do you know about doing business? You´re just a business English teacher, maybe an interpreter.

This is the point where I should shock you with my decades of experience in doing business on all the possible corporate levels and tell you about the thousands of employees that I´ve managed in my life. Sorry to disappoint you. I won´t. I´m just a 29 year old guy from Poland who by pure accident landed the position of an export manager for a few companies (two but actually four long story ;)). I haven´t seen or met the fortune 500 CEOs I never made millions of dollars and I´m not a founder of a billion dollar start up. But I do know how to hurt, discourage, abuse, embarrass and torment people and employees, sorry to say that I learned that by pure accident,but I did. We all know how to do that. It´s much easier to do all those things and use them to influence people by fear. Because fear is one of the strongest and effective ways of influencing people. It also is one of the most devastating ways of destroying any bonds between them and killing the symptoms of being human. Fear may be a motivating factor that pushes men and women to achieve amazing things but only if they are in a situation, where they really have to fight for their lives or the lives of their family, friends and loved ones. Fear of losing your home or the love of your life may push you to your limits. But fear also paralyzes, it freezes you and stops you from thinking straight. It´s not a shame to be afraid, but it´s truly shameful to scare your employees or team mates in order to maintain your authority.

Getting back to the business English aspect of the blog because if you´ve already forgotten this is a business English blog. Fear is just one way of motivating/hurting people.

But communication, language and what we are have a ton of many different ways of motivating, influencing and inspiring people. Just thinking about the very word inspiration makes all so lighter and walking on air.

The same thing goes for motivation. You don´t have to be the best friend and pal of your employees (actually you shouldn´t if you don´t want them to be disappointed with false friendship) but on the other hand sometimes it´s just not being the old office gargoyle or chimera that´s waiting and lurking in the darkness for someone to make a mistake, may be enough to make a difference and motivate the team.

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